COMMERCIAL: South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust has announced it is working with Microsoft to develop and personal online health record for mental health patients.

The trust hopes to develop a web portal using the software giant’s HealthVault platform, which would provide patients with secure access to their health records and the ability to contribute to them directly.

If successful, the system would enable patients to connect more closely with clinicians, and shape and influence their care and treatment plans online. The online portal will be developed by Get Real Consulting.

Strand Technology, whose clinical records system is used by the trust, is also working on the project to connect the existing system to HealthVault.

The trust plans to work with patients and clinicians over the coming months to develop the system. Phase one of the project is scheduled to go live in four months’ time, involving a limited number of patients. The first phase is expected to last three or four months, before pausing for evaluation and revision. It is hoped the system will then be offered to all patients.

Mike Denis, director of information strategy at South London and Maudsley, said: “The development is in keeping with the [government’s planned] information revolution - transforming the way information is accessed, collected, and used by the NHS to ultimately give people more control and greater choice about their care.”

However Mr Denis would not reveal the precise value of the contract, saying only that it was beneath the limit of around £101,000 that would require it to be published in the Official Journal of the European Union.